In first appearance, Paul Ryan appears at ease with running mate role

Alex Pappas Political Reporter
Font Size:

NORFOLK, Va. — Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan‘s entourage was ushering him away from the ropeline Saturday morning after being introduced as the Republican nominee for vice president when a vocal group of fans began screaming his name.

“Can I go over there?” an enthusiastic Ryan asked his new Secret Service detail before dashing over to the other side of the rope line to greet just a few more new supporters.

He smiled, gripped hands and thanked everyone over and over again before making his way toward the Romney-Ryan campaign bus.

Ryan — who has a reputation for being a low-key, policy-oriented Republican — seemed like he couldn’t get enough of the attention Saturday morning as he was formally named Republican candidate Mitt Romney‘s running mate.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of America’s Comeback Team,” Ryan told the hundreds of people who gathered at the USS Wisconsin in this coastal Virginia town on Saturday.

His first public act as vice presidential candidate was running on stage here along the Norfolk waterfront to the theme song for the Harrison Ford movie “Air Force One.”

The location and the backdrop the Romney campaign chose for the vice presidential announcement was also no coincidence, and Ryan made it immediately clear that he enjoyed it. “Right in front of the USS Wisconsin, huh? Man!” (RELATED: Watch both Romney and Ryan’s speeches here)

The crowd immediately took notice when the congressman seemed delighted to introduce his family to a national audience. “I want you to meet my family. My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our sons, Charlie and Sam.”

Saturday’s event is just the beginning of a four-day swing-state bus tour that kicked off with the vice presidential announcement Saturday.

News of Ryan’s selection as Republican vice presidential nominee broke fast after weeks of Romney’s campaign providing little information about the process.

Late Friday night, the Romney campaign announced that the candidate would name his running mate at a rally in Norfolk. News organizations, including The Daily Caller, quickly followed with stories citing sources that Ryan had been selected.

In his remarks, Romney described why he chose Ryan, saying, “Paul is a man of tremendous character.”

“In a city that is far too often characterized by pettiness and personal attacks, Paul Ryan is a shining exception,” Romney said.

Watch Romney and Ryan’s speeches:

[dcvideo videoid=”24776434″ name=”ndnPlayer_24776434″ type=”ndn” /]

Follow Alex on Twitter